Too Da#@ expensive

Nov 12, 1998
Somebody PLEASE explain to me why I can get the junglee short-sword which is AUS-8 and Kraton handled for 104.95 from Discount blades and the Saxon from MD is 2700.00. Judas H. Priest, I know the Saxon is 4" longer blade and is a hand and a half and I'm sure a little better steel but COME ON. Give me a break with the BMW prices for a piece of production steel now please. Any input please.
WOW! $2700.00.I have bought cars that were less than that.they were pretty good cars too.I use my knives so personally I would never buy anything in that price range,but for those who wish to cherish and collect artistic cutlery,or to build a collection I say more power to them.
I don't think this is the right place to compare a factory knife to a hand made knife in terms of prices.If you look around you can see that there are al sorts of knives out there for a fraction of the cost of a custom knife.But the fact is most people(myself included) that post here have graduated to finer cutlery and know the difference in the 2 knives you mentioned and wouldn't ask a question like that.9 out of 10 times in the knife business you get what you pay for.My humble opinion.
Strider Sir.

How would one then compentently compare the price difference between a MD ATAK and a MD Saxon Short Sword????

Marion David Poff fka Eye

Patiently waitng for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, Benchmade Axis (and Axis AFCK), Pinnacle and the REKAT NEW KNIVES.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu


Please refer to Kevins response to your original post over at

What exactly happened to you today that would prompt you to post this here. I can understand posting it under Kevins forum as that is what it is for, more or less, but why here too?

There are a good deal of knives available in the $2000+ range. Phil Hartsfield sells his VERY basic swords in the $3500-7000 range.

It would be difficult to explain to you why this sword commands the premium that it does if you feel that the Junglee (imported full production piece) at $104, could possibly be a suitable replacement.

Take care,
I used to wonder why someone would pay the same amount for a watch. I now where a Tag watch which costs about $2,700. I used to wonder the same about knives. I have nearly every price range covered. I have the #1 CFO by Microtech and would not let it go for less than $3,000. Why? Hell I don't know!

I guess it is kinda of like some who collect art. Some can't afford the real thing so they get a litho. Looks damn good at 1/100th the price. Don't get me wrong here I am not that rich. I grew up in the projects myself and money is hard to come by but I do like to collect knives.

The sword you are reffering to is hand made by a man. Now let's think about how many hours he put in it himself. Let's say he spent 100 hours. Well that's only $27 an hour! Not bad for a professional. Now the other sword you mentioned probably took only an hour or so total on an assembly line of sorts.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Lead - Follow or get out of the way!

[This message has been edited by Mike Turber (edited 18 November 1998).]
(wierd double post that appeared an hour after the original went up)

[This message has been edited by Derek (edited 18 November 1998).]
01 is a far better steel than AUS8, esp. once chrome-plated to alleviate the lessened rust protection of 01.

That's just a start. Kevin is pushing the metallurgy to the absolute ragged edge of what's possible, to a point where for every blade he actually sells in the 9"+ range one, sometimes more needs to be scrapped.

But the survivors are *tough* muthers.

Beyond tough, there's the balance, the feel, there's nothing else like it. I could "only" afford an ATAK type (WSP1 variant) in the $340 range and I'll never regret it for a second.

It's a good thing they're tank-ugly or mere mortals would *never* be able to afford 'em. Kevin may be egotistical, call him anything else, but hats off to one dude doing blades functional beyond any other consideration.

Jim March
Derek, I have no idea why it ended up here. I posted it on MD site.

Gentlemen.........I have money.....I work for a company that does big business. 5 billion a years min., I understand the quality and that it always costs, always. I agree it should, totally....REALLY. But come on. I saw CS classic tantos, (i know they are production knives) beautifully done hand finished wonderful steel, 799. I have seen and held MD and YES YES they are really well balanced and well made, yes yes. I hear ya. 1. no etching 2. no inlays 3. no special sheaths 4. no nothing cosmetic like wood or stag handle, or anything.

He sticks a man made grip on a really well made piece of steel and charges 2700. Good luck dude

I do like his choice in steels though, really.

My gripe is about capitalism and price. I do plan to get an A.T.A.K. though. Maybe a stinger too. Much more reasonable even though I think it's still a little high.

Your question can be distilled down to the basic argument of
custom vs. production and free market capitalism.

Without getting into the points already raised, consider the
points of material volume discounts,tax breaks, government
subsidies,energy subsidies, decreased QC, mass marketing, etc
that production houses have over the small shop.

As for justification...Kevin doesn't have to justify anything. If
his prices are too high, then he won't make any sales. Since he
makes his living at making knives and swords, he obviously
intends to sell them. He is backlogged....he sells them at the
current advertized prices and there is increasing demand for

I don't have a problem, or quibble with a price a custom maker
sets....if I want his product, I pay. If I don't want it, I don't.
Afterall, we are not communists.

I don’t understand why you complain about the price of the piece when you have no intention of buying one. The headache is for those that desire it, not for those that don’t. I don’t want one so I don’t care if the price is $23,000!

Take Care,


"Every Dog Has His Day"

Highdlr: That "man made grip" that he "stuck on" is tough enough that he makes a line of knives out of it with no steel in, the "Frequent Flyers". And they have an excellent rep as a deep-cover zero-metal defensive blade.

Let's talk about "stuck on". You know how he tested the ATAK-type grip construction? He stuck one vertical in a bench vise on the back of a plumber's pickup 2" in, then ran a steel cable from the lanyard hole to a full-size van - and towed the van with the truck at 20mph. This is the same grip construction as the Saxon, just a bit smaller.

Try that with your fancy CS ornamented "classic".

Jim March
The Junglee is made for looking and waving. The Saxon is made for trusting your life to in combat. If you for one moment seriously considered bladed combat and what it entails, you would realize that a sword must survive clashes with body armor and with other swords, and not only survive, but remain a viable weapon.

As far as I know AUS-8 cannot be made to perform to the requirements of battle in sword lengths. If you made it soft enough not to break, it wouldn't hold an edge against armor. Making a sword out of AUS8 is like making a baseball bat out of cheese.

With any luck though, the price of Mad Dog swords will come down as his equipment is upgraded and his processes perfected. I am hoping for a $1500 War Lord some day.
I have not used any of MD's stuff but $2700.00 seems like a lot of money. Somebody says you can't compare handmade stuff with factory stuff. How about with another maker Jim Hrisoulas makes sword that sell for $500-$800. I have not used any of his stuff either but I have read all his books And I think he knows what he is doing. I would not be afraid to bet my life on his stuff.

The price difference between a Saxon and the "normal" production Mad Dogs is easy to see once you have a feel for how Kevin makes knives.

The more common models such as the ATAK and Rats are done in "runs". The blanks are cut for him by water jet (so as no to burn out the steel). Kevin than is able to grind each knife and heat treat them before hard chroming.

With a blade like the Saxon, he must profile each blank by hand. The grinding in a knife/sword like this is a real bitch. Try to get a perfectly flat and symmetrical grind on an 18" blade, by hand. Then the heat treat. The longer blades, like the Saxon, are prone to "potato chipping" or warping like crazy during the heating process. The blade must than be straightened(if possible, if not scrapped)and the heat treat continued. The special hand and a half grip is put on and hand ground to shape. As Jim March said, it is not uncommon to lose one or more blades in the process of making just one completed sword.

If you total up the hours Kevin spends on this blade alone, he could have made 10-12 ATAKS($3500-4000). At that, the Saxon is a bargain.

As stated before, they are not for everyone or he would make a lot more of them and we would all have one. But if you have a need for one or the dough to shell out for one just because you want it, there is NOTHING comparable to it.

Good point Greg. There are a number of makers out there who will make you a darn good, functional sword for under $1,000.

To a certain extent though, that may be because they cannot sell them for more. Supply and demand.

I know Hrisoulas is a damn fine bladesmith, but does he make modern combat weapons? His web sight left me with the impression that he only does medieval stuff.

He does manly medieval stuff but I think he will make other stuff too. But I was just using him as an example. I bet he puts just as much time if not more into his work as does MD does. And I am willing to bet his blades are as good as MD's. So if if somebody says MD sword is worth $2700 because it is better I don't belive it, but if you say his blades are worth $2700 because someone is willing to paid for it I will agree. Like you said supply and demand. their worth what some will pay SIMPLE AS THAT!. One thing I forgot MD are stock removal and Jim's are forged. If I got my pick I would pick forged every time.
A knife that is forged by a master will be much better then a stock removal knife.

[This message has been edited by gregj62 (edited 19 November 1998).]
Sometimes I wonder if a lot of the abuse I see dumped on Kevin has more to do with his attitude than his products. To be sure, Kevin is a unique individual. There are many such individuals in this world. A person makes a decision to either overlook certain qualities or not. Kevin does bring some of the abuse on himself from time to time. But that has NOTHING to do with his blades! Notice that Cold Steel gets a lot of abuse because of their owner as well. But they do make a pretty good product in thier target market.

I find it interesting that in every case that someone takes exception to the price or advertized/posted quality, they have never used any Mad Dog product. " I just WON'T believe MadDog steel is any better than AU-8. You know what, that blasted Rolls Royce must not be worth the money. Why, I can get to the office just as easy in my Pinto." Aggie, PLEASE!

Wonder why I never see anybody bitching about the price/performance of some of Randle's products?

Am I a fanatic about Mad Dog products? Don't know. But you dang sure better not come try to take any of them away from me. I have not purchased a SINGLE thing from Mad Dog that was anything but top notch. And I have over $1000 of additional product on order or on my "to buy list".

If you are happy with your Benchmade and Spyderco stuff, great. I wish you many happy years of use. But because you have never tried something and don't understand why it is worth more to some than others, don't shoot your mouth off.

Mike, Spark, My appologies. That's more venom than I have ever vented anywhere on line. (Even more than I put on the BM forum) It's probably more than I should have said. But I'm alittle tired of people blasting a good product line when they know didly squat about it. I'll take whatever repercussions you deam fit.


[This message has been edited by Bubba (edited 20 November 1998).]